Thursday, September 03, 2009

WSJ Floats Cheney 2012, Campaign Ad Ready

The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto floated the possibility of a Dick Cheney presidential run in 2012:
As inconceivable as it may seem today, the 2012 election may end up turning on national security. Republicans would be wise to nominate someone with both toughness and experience. Under such circumstances, it’s hard to think of a better candidate—assuming, of course, that he could be persuaded to run—than Richard B. Cheney.

In an effort to move Cheney's candidacy, MSNBC's Countdown aired his first campaign ad:

Back on Planet Earth: Thousands Turn Out for Healthcare NOW Vigils Across the Land

Last night, vigils for people who have no healthcare and demonstrations for universal healthcare NOW were held in more than 300 locations across the country. Thousands turned out to put a human face on the urgent need for healthcare reform and to pressure our elected officials, including the President, to do the right thing, and NOT cave to the machine.

This is from my local vigil:

The vigil in Chicago:

And one of the many demonstrations across the country:

U.S. vs Canada: Does Universal Healthcare Increase the People's I.Q.? Hmm ...

Here's a sampling of the towering intellects opposing healthcare reform in our country -- it's embarassing, folks.

Note to the child left behind in the video: The U.S.S. Constitution, aka "Old Ironsides," is a a "wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named after the Constitution of the United States of America by President George Washington, she is the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat in the world." She is based in Ted Kennedy's state of Massachusetts, at the Charlestown Naval Yard.

In contrast, here's a video from our friends to the North, in their own words.

[M]y friend Matte Black and his brother took their video camera to Canada on vacation to interview Canadians about their health care system. When we talked about it, I asked him to try to get negative views with specifics for balance. Here is the result. It has been edited for brevity, but the negative views were not removed, because there were none. He could not find one Canadian who thought they should kill the system. These are everyday people. They have no agenda at all other than being patriotic Canadians.

Please watch it and share it with as many people as you can.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Maria Bartiromo, YOU IGNORANT S@&T

CNBC pre-financial apocalypse anchor Maria Bartiromo can't even get past the basics when it comes to having a rational discussion about healthcare reform:

Hey Maria, the days of Botox lips and plunging cleavage as essential to a successful female financial news/Wall Street anchor career on cable TV are OVER. Now you actually have to KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! Better spend less time on cosmetic enhancements and more actually trying to learn (forget master) your topic.

A lot of post-financial apocalypse Wall Street women of your relative talent and intelligence are now pole-dancing to maintain their lifestyle. You should be thankful to still have your job playing eye candy to the CNBC clowns Santelli and Cramer, eviscerated by Jon Stewart. He spared you because, well, you're easy.

In the bucket o' crazy, the largest piece is Pat Buchanan

Sure, he gets competition from Beck and O'Reilly and the gang at Fox, but Pat's been around a lot longer, so when he goes off the deep end, he really makes it a rollicking good time.

h/t DailyKos

Did Hitler Want War?

You can go read his bit of lunacy for a few laughs, a few tears, and a wee bit of searing pain mixed in for good measure. Essentially, he's arguing (I think) that Hitler didn't want war, and it was Britain getting involved in a minor border skirmish that really wasn't even a concern to Poland that lead to World War II. Some of the commenters are especially loony. That group clearly thinks the six million Jews let themselves be murdered in death camps just to set the rest of the world up for a major guilt trip, in order to further the international Zionist conspiracy. According to Buchanan, as far as I can tell, tens of millions of people died for no good reason in that war, and it's certainly not Hitler's fault.

One Order of Dead HorsePuree, Please

I know I have gone beyond beating a dead horse to putting said dead horse in the food processor and hitting "puree," but it is not much of an exaggeration to say that Barack Obama's presidency is hanging in the balance on the health care issue. The sad part about the president's predicament is that it is largely of his own making.

We all remember President and Mrs. Clinton's ill-fated venture into health care:

She headed up the task force that worked behind closed doors, largely ignoring Congress. They actually came up with a fairly good plan, but 1) Congress was angry and 2) they let the opposition control the message (insert "Harry and Louise" here).

So Barack Obama watches and presumably learns, but yet he takes away exactly the wrong lessons. Instead of crafting a comprehensive plan, he leaves the details to Congress. The Congress is so good at strategic planning and dealing with details, isn't it? The president decides to act as cheerleader-in-chief, but exactly what is he cheering for? He seems noncommittal on what he expects "reform" to look like, afraid to alienate, afraid to lead. I'm sure I would support the president's proposal--if I knew what it was.

And yes again, he has allowed the opposition to define the message, from "death panels" to town hall yelling matches.

It is not too late, Mr. President, but time is not on your side. Develop a sense of urgency NOW. Returning to the dead horse theme, it is time to lead and BE PRESIDENT.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Wingnuts Beware: Jack Bauer SUPPORTS Universal Healthcare

Well, not quite. But Canadian-born Kiefer Sutherland, star of '24' on Fox, made this ad supporting universal healthcare:

(Subliminal message from Jack Bauer: Support universal healthcare with a public option, OR DIE.)

Why, you might ask, would wingnut hero and the Republicans' unauthorized torture ambassador, Special Agent Jack Bauer, Kiefer's alter ego, his Mr. Hyde, cut this ad? Well, for one, Bauer's got GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTHCARE! And boy, does he need it ...

But wait ... After listening to Republicans cite Jack Bauer (seriously) to bolster their national security pro-torture arguments in committee, one almost begins to think Bauer's a REAL person.

In truth, Kiefer Sutherland comes from a celebrated family. His father, the great actor Donald Sutherland, starred in some of my favorite films: MASH, Klute, The Dirty Dozen, Ordinary People, with memorable bit parts on Animal House and JFK, among many others.

But it was Kiefer's grandfather, Tommy Douglas, who was recently voted by the people of Canada "The Greatest Canadian" for introducing universal healthcare to Canada. He is known in Canada as the "father of Medicare."

As a fan of his father and sometime '24' viewer, I wondered what could compel Kiefer to take on such a role (besides the money). Then it hit me: As a Canadian with such distinguished family ties to universal healthcare, Kiefer must have viewed the violent, anything goes Darwinist society portrayed in '24' as a fairly accurate allegory of present-day USA.

It's interesting to note that Ted Kennedy enjoyed watching '24' DVDs with Vicky in the waning days of his life. Someday, hopefully sooner than later, Senator Kennedy will be hailed as the Tommy Douglas of America.

Thanks Jack, er ... Kiefer.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Final Farewell

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. But he didn't stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counseling. He invited them sailing, played with their children, and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along. To one widow, he wrote the following:

"As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on, because we have to, because our loved one would want us to, and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us."

We carry on.

Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image - the image of a man on a boat; white mane tousled; smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for what storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. May God Bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.

- President Barack Obama

To Beck or not to Beck: Your Padded Room Is Ready

What do Dan Quayle and Glenn Beck have in common? No, not that, and Dan was also good enough to attend the service for Ted Kennedy.

Here’s a clue: remember POTATOE?

Products of our broken educational system, perhaps?

Illiteracy is the least of Glenn Beck’s problems. The FAUX News lunatic who has lost 33 sponsors and counting after he called our President a racist and we signed a petition promising to boycott sponsors that support hate speech -- isn’t true grass roots advocacy great! -- is fast becoming the poster nut for a strong mental health option in healthcare reform.

“Walk softly and carry a big stick …” um, Glenn, that’s “speak softly …”

I’d like to buy a “C” please … as in [C]arlos.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Like a Good Irishman, Teddy has the Last Word at His Own Funeral

When the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, Theodore Carrick, officiated the graveside service for Senator Ted Kennedy, he read the Senator's letter to the Pope, which had been delivered earlier this year by President Obama. As befitting a great Irishman, the Senator had the last word at his funeral, and his graveside message to us couldn't be more clear and unambiguous: 

"I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life. I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I will continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone.


Right wing hatemongers bellowed falsely that the Senator's funeral services would become a "political rally" on behalf of universal healthcare. This is what they feared, but they don't get it. The Senator has always spoken for himself and for those without a voice, and he wasn't about to stop simply because, or rather, in spite of his funeral. His life was politics; how could there not be talk of politics at the Senator's final farewell? Not the crass and ugly politics practiced by hypocrites and haters, but politics as the byproduct of our highest ideals and as a means toward a more perfect union. 

It'll be interesting to see how low the cowardly right will stoop in attacking Ted Kennedy's gradchildren who offered intercession prayers on behalf of the many social legislative themes that inspired the Senator's life. Among these, of course, is universal healthcare legislation, “for what my grandpa called the cause of his life, as he said so often: in every part of this land, that every American will have decent quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.” Not surprisingly, the wingnut sickos have already begun their attacks.

Ted Kennedy's eloquent letter to the Pope (emphases mine) follows below:

"Most Holy Father I asked President Obama to personally hand deliver this letter to you. As a man of deep faith himself, he understands how important my Roman Catholic faith is to me, and I am so deeply grateful to him. I hope this letter finds you in good health. I pray that you have all of God's blessings as you lead our church and inspire our world during these challenging times. I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines.

"I was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago and although I continue treatment, the disease is taking its toll on me. I am 77 years old and preparing for the next passage of life. I have been blessed to be part of a wonderful family and both of my parents, particularly my mother, kept our Catholic faith at the center of our lives. That gift of faith has sustained and nurtured and provides solace to me in the darkest hours. I know that I have been an imperfect human being, but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my path. I want you to know Your Holiness that in my nearly 50 years of elective office I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I have worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I have opposed the death penalty and fought to end war.

"Those are the issues that have motivated me and have been the focus of my work as a United States senator. I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life. I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I will continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone. I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, and though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings of my faith. I continue to pray for God's blessings on you and on our church and would be most thankful for your prayers for me."
What a wonderful few days of services for Senator Kennedy. The outpouring of love and affection from the people was tremendous. If you missed it, Ted Kennedy Jr.'s remembrance of his dad (linked here) was a special treat.